One month to go: today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, in which we attempt to generate 50,000 words of first draft. That's a minimum (or average) of 1,666 words a day, on top of working a day job, writing a blog, sleeping, eating, and doing all the rest of it. I've just achingly squeezed out 850-ish words, with the laptops Internet connection turned off. It didn't take long before I had to reconnect to find a random name generator. Now I'm back on line and there is this thing called twitter; it's utterly pointless and a bit shit, and nothing ever happens on it ever, except interesting links to informative articles and humorous photographs. Some of the random name generators are terrible; this one is a piece of shit. I asked it for a very common female first name and a surname, and the list it produced included, at number four, the single word 'Coons'. No feminine first name, just one word. Coons. I was affronted.
It really is hard to concentrate on word count instead of crafting the sentences as they stutter out. I'm constantly second guessing myself. I'll start writing something and the second it's not perfect I want to delete the whole bloody thing. One month from now this frustrating and counter-intuitive habit will be thoroughly stamped out. I am looking forward to having piles of substandard written words which I can print, double line-spaced, and attack with a pen – chopping, changing, turning sentences into prose and tell into show. I have this obsession with show, don't tell. I cannot possibly write he was sad, or it was late. They are tell, which makes for a tedious read, and an amateurish write. Don't say he was sad; discover why he is sad, how he is showing it or hiding it; unpick the details and lay them bare before the reader; allow the reader to see and feel, and make their own conclusions. It's an obsession that I need to leave slightly to one side during NaNoWriMo, and then pull right back to me when it's time for the redraft.
I can smell delicious chili drafting through from the kitchen; and I'm not making it woohoo. I went to the world-food market around the corner to buy paprika, and was so distracted by the tub of Cock Flavour they were selling, I almost bought the wrong thing. If only I had a smart phone I could have snapped a picture and tweeted it to Viz Litterbox; they like that sort of thing. Another missed opportunity, like the time I found in a Polish shop a multipack of various sausages called Sausage Fest. How I laughed; I'm still laughing now. My fiancee has just got a new Blackberry and is getting all excited about the features; taking photos of me so my face pops up when I call; watching tiny little YouTube videos, etc.
I've breached the one-thousand word barrier (1500 if you count a little I wrote yesterday), which is good going so far. Maybe more later tonight, but for now I'm calling time.